The Release of the American Hostages

444 days.

For 444 days, a group of 52 Americans had been held hostage in Iran after a group of militant students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran November 4, 1979. President Jimmy Carter had tried everything he could to secure their release, but in the end, it was simply the transfer of power from him to Ronald Reagan that ended the crisis (along with $8 billion in unfrozen Iranian assets…but we won’t quibble about that).

January 20, 1981, was one of those days that we children of the 80s (even if we were too young to fully comprehend what was going on) will always remember. For well over a year, the talk around the dinner table and in the newspapers (remember those?) and on the TV news (that too?) was about the crisis. Instead of looking at calendars anymore, it seemed, we marked the time by how many days the hostages had been in captivity.

Two Thanksgivings came and went. Occasional videos of the hostages during their captivity were taped and broadcast by Iran including the famous messages on Christmas Day 1980. Yellow ribbons were everywhere——telephone poles, car antennas, old oak trees… and still, nothing. No hope for the hostages’ return until the morning of Reagan’s inauguration.

Sure enough, just moments after ol’ Ronnie took the oath of office, we got word that the hostages had all been released and were on airplanes bound for Algeria and then Germany and then back home to America. A slap in the face to Jimmy Carter, sure, but in the grand scheme of things, he came out of it just fine, the hostages were all free, and our favorite decade was off to a grand start.

And, as a bonus, we didn’t need to hear “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” anymore. Small victories.

We ♥ the release of the American hostages.

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~ by weheart80s on May 18, 2017.

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